World News at a Glance
Posted November 20, 2018 9:55 p.m. EST
Trump Stands With Saudis Over Murder of Khashoggi
President Donald Trump defied the nation’s intelligence agencies and a growing body of evidence Tuesday to declare his unswerving loyalty to Saudi Arabia, asserting that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s culpability for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi might never be known. In a remarkable statement that appeared calculated to end the debate over the U.S. response to the killing of Khashoggi, the president said, "We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Kabul Blast Kills 50 and Injures at Least 75
The bombing of a crowded religious gathering in Kabul on Tuesday killed at least 50 people, Afghan officials said. Wahid Majrooh, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, said that in addition to those who were killed, at least 75 people were wounded in an explosion at the Uranus Wedding Palace, near Kabul’s international airport, and that officials were still trying to determine the exact toll. He added that 24 of the wounded were in critical condition. Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, called it a suicide bombing, and confirmed the death toll.
Macedonian Ex-Leader Claims to Get Asylum in Hungary
A former Macedonian prime minister who fled the country while facing a prison sentence on corruption charges claimed Tuesday he had been granted political asylum in Hungary. The former leader, Nikola Gruevski — who ran the country as a strongman for a decade before being forced out of office in 2016 after nationwide protests — had been sentenced to two years in prison for abusing the power of his office to purchase a luxury vehicle. He also faces several more serious charges, some stemming from a vast scandal involving secretly recorded conversations in which government officials were heard discussing crimes like covering up killings.
Germany Investigates Donations to Far Right
Prosecutors have begun an investigation into a leader and three members of the far-right Alternative for Germany Party for accepting “dubious donations” worth $145,000 from a Swiss company in the heat of last year’s election campaign, which saw the party surge to the third-strongest in the country. The main target of the investigation is Alice Weidel, who was a leading candidate in last year’s national election and has since served as its floor leader in parliament. The investigation could undermine the party, known by its German initials AfD, which has become the main opposition force in parliament.
U.S. and Brazil Chose Similar Leaders. It May Lead to Smoother Relations.
The United States and Brazil have been uneasy allies during the best of times. But Brazilian voters may have put an end to that dynamic by electing as their next president Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right lawmaker who is unabashedly pro-American and strikingly similar to President Donald Trump in temperament, tactics and style. "We might be on the verge of a golden era of relations,” said Fernando Cutz, a former senior White House official who worked on Latin America policy. “Trump and Bolsonaro will really hit it off. Their personalities are almost identical and their policy views are very similar.”
U.K. ‘Coup’ Against May Falters, for Now
Hard-liners in Britain’s governing Conservative Party have so dominated debate over withdrawal from the European Union for the past two years that when they called last week for the overthrow of Prime Minister Theresa May, failure did not occur to them as a possibility. But Tuesday the so-called coup against May was halted — for now, anyway — after the plotters admitted having been misled by their own supporters, who had melted away. May is battling to quell a rebellion within her party and her Cabinet over draft plans for a withdrawal, or Brexit, that would maintain some close ties to the European Union.
Russia, Which Has Tried to Manipulate Interpol, Is Poised to Lead It
Interpol appears poised to select as its next president a senior security official from Russia, which has been accused of manipulating the agency’s arrest warrants to harass its enemies. American and European officials were lobbying behind the scenes to tip a vote Wednesday away from the Russian candidate, Alexander V. Prokopchuk. The virulently anti-Russian Ukranian government went public, declaring that Prokopchuk’s candidacy was part of a Kremlin assault on the international order. For years, the Kremlin has used Interpol to demand the arrest of political enemies who have fled to other countries.